The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland, shaped like a tiny pine cone (pinea in Latin) from where it derives its name. This pea sized organ is responsible for the production of melatonin, a hormone that affects the modulation of sleep/wake patterns which in turn determines other hormone and stress levels in the body and also controls seasonal circadian rhythms. Melatonin is alson known as an anti-aging and anti-stress agent because it is involved in the dual action of the suppression of cortisol and acts as a powerful antioxidant.
The pineal gland is located near the center of the brain between the two hemispheres, at the same level as the eyes which had led to it also being called the “third eye”. In modern times, a great deal of scientific studies have been undertaken to understand the role of the pineal gland. The pineal area is covered in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and has more blood flow per cubic volume than any other organ, making it the gland with the highest concentration of energy in the body. In humans, the pineal cells resemble retinal cells in position and in the presence of proteins not found elsewhere in the body, thereby adding importance to its definition as the third eye.
Researchers have found that the pineal gland produces DMT (dimethyltriptamine). DMT is produced when the body goes through extraordinary situations such as birth, sexual ecstasy, extreme physical stress, and near-death experiences. It is also said to be produced during deep meditation. DMT is said to also alter our dream consciousness when it is released into the bloodstream during the Rapid Eye Movement phase of sleep. DMT links the body and spirit because of its relationship to visionary experiences and non ordinary states of transcendant consciousness, prompting Dr. Rick Strassman to call DMT the Spirit Molecule.
Many scientists now suggest that the pineal gland may indeed be the “seat of consciousness” based on the outcome of studies that show the role of this tiny, until recently considered vestigial organ is of far greater importance than commonly assumed.
The connection between pineal gland and consciousness can be traced back to Egyptian, Indian and even Tibetan traditions. In Egypt, when the Pharoahs were mummified amidst elaborate processes of embalming and purifying, the pineal gland was removed carefully and placed in a separate jar. The contents of this jar were considered as containing the gateway to the afterlife.
In India, the pineal gland is seen as representing the sixth chakra (ajna) and the ubiquitous bindi which adorns a woman’s forehead is said to protect her by blocking negative energies from reaching the third eye. The ajna chakra is said to be the seat of wisdom, intuition and imagination and a blocked ajna chakra is characterised by a lack of intuition and imagination, thereby leading to the inability to make the right decisions and also inhibits spiritual expansion and growth.
The Tibetans believe that life of an embryo begins on the 49th day after conception. It is strange to note that it is on the 49th day that the pineal gland starts to develop in a human embryo. This could lead us to believe that the pineal gland is indeed considered the seat of consciousness.
The pineal gland is not protected by the blood brain barrier and therefore does not have an extra line of defense against harmful toxins that enter the bloodstream. Specific toxins, such as synthetic fluoride and synthetic calcium are shown to have an affinity for the pineal gland, weakening its abilities to produce neurotransmitters and receive photons of light external sources. It is important therefore to ensure that the pineal gland is working at its optimal in order to enjoy the benefits of spiritual growth and awareness.
Here are a few ways to activate an underperforming pineal gland:
Adequate hydration and good nutrition
Our bodies are made up of upto 75% of water. It is very important to consume adequate amounts of water to ensure activation of the pineal gland. Additionally, a balanced diet, high in tryptophan is helpful in providing the building blocks for the important biochemical produced by the pineal gland. Tryptophan is plentiful in many foods including chocolate, seaweed, almonds, bananas, dried dates, sesame seeds, chickpeas, and peanuts.
Indians follow the tradition of Sun worship since Vedic times. Exposure to early morning stimulates the pineal gland. Exposure to sun light is necessary for other body functions as well and it is recommended that you spend at least 10 to 15 minutes of the day, preferably in the early morning to enjoy optimal health and wellbeing.
Sleep in Complete Darkness
It is also important to note that time spent in darkness helps the pineal gland to suppress serotonin and increase melatonin, which is necessary to induce sleep. A dark environment in the bedroom is very important to ensure a good night’s rest. You should specially avoid blue light which comes from sources such as the television, computer screens and smart phones. Blue light can lead to a stimulation of serotonin as the body thinks it is daytime, therefore upsetting the wake and sleep cycle.
Gently tapping your forehead in between your eyebrows activates the pineal gland. The vibration sends a wave directly back to the pineal gland, activating it in the process.
Pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth activates the pituitary gland and, through its physical and chemical connections, activated the pineal gland and hypothalamus as well.
Laughing and smiling reduce stress and relax the body, which increases the flow of positive energy. Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins, promoting feelings of well-being. Relaxation increases blood flow, which amplifies the effects of the hormones released in the body.
Focusing and visualisation
Since energy flows where our attention goes, bringing our attention to the pineal gland will activate it.
When you visualize something, you are forcing your mind to use your third eye. By doing this, you can stimulate your pineal gland. As your pineal glandbecomes more active, more high frequency energy can flow into your body.
The act of meditating works to stimulate the chakra system that is responsible for conducting and generating life-force energy. Meditating specifically guides bioelectric and zero-point energy to the pineal gland allowing for greater states of clarity and intuition to come into our conscious life.
Chanting causes the tetrahedron bone in the nose to resonate, which creates a stimulation of the pineal gland. You could begin with the chanting of “om” or any prayer that appeals to you.
The physical benefits of an active pineal gland can be felt in various aspects of living such as finding a greater balance in our work life ratio, improved well being, better functioning of bio rhythms and improved hormonal states.
In terms of emotional benefits, you will find that you are calmer, better at decision making, more at peace with yourself and others and you find a renewed zest for living.
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